Video Conferencing Requirements Checklist for Evaluating Vendors
Read the checklist to learn how to choose a video conferencing vendor that fits well with your existing investments, huddle spaces, and digital productivity initiatives.
Evaluating Video Conferencing Vendors
While there are many video conferencing vendors in today’s marketplace, there are important considerations to keep in mind when selecting a service that will deliver the most value. Learn more about choosing a vendor that fits well with your existing IT investments, video conference room systems, and digital productivity initiatives. Here is a checklist of the leading video conferencing features used by successful organizations.
1. Room System Interoperability
The number of video conference room system hardware brands is far larger than available software solutions. However, not all video conferencing software vendors take a fully agnostic approach when it comes to connecting rooms systems with virtual meetings. Cloud-video interoperability makes video conferencing better for several reasons.
For instance, large enterprises may have several IT divisions responsible for outfitting different conference rooms in multiple locations around the world. This means it is important to find meetings software—typically cloud-based--that integrates with any room system hardware regardless of brand. From the perspective of a systems administrator, this allows you to maximize your existing investments in hardware endpoint solutions. And with an open, interoperable cloud solution you can easily add newhuddle space systems, creating the best possible environment for collaboration. The same story goes for those you’ve invited to the conference outside your organization — allow customers to join from the conference room of their choice no matter what hardware brand they’re using.
Whether your organization has committed to Cisco, Poly, Logitech, YeaLink or any other room system gear, as long as it’s based on SIP or H.323 standards it will work with best-of-breed video conferencing software.
2. Any Browser, Device, or Operating System
Just as you should be able to support multiple hardware configurations, finding a video conferencing solution that’s works on any browser, PC, mobile device, or OS is a major consideration.
Across Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and others, today’s workforce tends to use different browsers based upon personal preferences. Additionally, when inviting external participants to a video conference it’s important to accommodate their preference as well. The meetings solution you choose should have this option as a baseline capability.
Tablets and mobile devices must be considered with your video conferencing as well. Given the growing number of employees joining video calls from the field or on the move, allowing any device type or operating system to join matters a great deal. Android vs. iOS, Mac vs. PC, and MacOS, Windows and Linuxall need to play into your decision on the right solution for your business.
3. Ease of Use
Take the confusion out of joining a meeting. Period. One-click video conferences are becoming an expectation for end users, and it’s easy to understand why. If joining from a desktop or laptop, reducing the number of steps to meet with colleagues is a huge advantage for users. Rather than attempting to memorize lengthy passcodes and dial-in numbers, give your employees the luxury of tapping a single prompt to join their video conference. The top solutions in this market offer the same one-touch join flow for mobile devices and room systems as well.
4. Security and Privacy
First on the list for many technical organizations is secure video conferencing. In-meeting controls, administrative safeguards, encryption, and data protection helps you counter security threats to both your users and your organization. Partner with a video conferencing service that is compliant with international privacy laws, such as GDPR, US-regulated security statutes, and Privacy by Design/Default principals. Ask if your vendor is SOC3 certified. And for confidential internal-only town-hall video conference events, ensure your vendor offers a way to block non-authenticated external users from joining the event.
Choose a video conferencing experience that supports a significant number of attendees. This type of capacity isn’t needed for most ad-hoc meetings, but for larger group discussions look for a solution that supports at least 100 endpoints in a single conference.
Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, and other calendaring platforms are used by small businesses and large enterprises alike. Make your meeting invitations as easy as possible by finding a video conferencing solution that integrates with these calendaring and scheduling systems. This automatically embeds your video conference link and optional phone numbers in your calendar invitation, as well as places a one-click join option on conference room systems in any rooms you book for the meeting. This is your best bet to avoid the “meeting tax” where participants waste precious time trying to enter the video conference.
7. Productivity Tools
Equally important to creating a smooth in-meeting experience is the ability for participants to be as productive as possible before, during, and after their meetings. Real-time transcription, live-meeting highlights, and post-meeting summaries are starting to emerge with the most sophisticated video conferencing vendors. Now you can binge-watch the highlights reel for the meetings you missed in a fraction of the time it would take to view a recording or read the entire transcript. Keep these forward-looking frontrunners in mind when thinking through digital communication efficiency. Chat, screen share, annotation, and meeting recording are all must-have features when shopping the market as well. Learn more about Smart Meetings.
8. Application Integrations
Just as it’s important to have flexibility in choosing your video conferencing hardware endpoints, software integrations build on the idea of simple and seamless end user workflows between popular collaboration tools. So whether your users are in Microsoft Teams, Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Office 365, Google Office or other business applications, they can seamlessly flow into their video conferencing app from those tools without having to switch context, saving time. It’s really an application network built for the digital workplace.